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Aquatint Etching titled “Spirit of Spring”

C3999C-print.jpg

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Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh - Little Standing Spruce
  • Category: Prints
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: aquatint etching on Fabriano Rosapina Cream 285
  • Size:
    9-1/2" by 5" image;
    17-1/2” x 12-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3999C
  • Price: $5,000.00

Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh (or “Little Standing Spruce”) of Santa Clara Pueblo, was one of the most fascinating, complex, and engaging figures in the American Indian art world.  Hardin was born in 1943 to Santa Clara Pueblo painter Pablita Velarde and Caucasian civil servant Herbert Hardin. Inspired by her mother, she began creating and selling paintings as a teenager.  She went in a different direction than her mother and her mother’s peers, creating more contemporary work that depicted Native American symbols with striking geometric patterns. 

Photo of Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh - Little Standing Spruce. Image Source:  the photo copies (of original polaroid’s) of Helen Hardin appear courtesy of the photographer.Hardin's distinctive and compelling style became more fully realized in the 1970s, with a series of paintings of Katsina figures. These and her later works are immensely complex works of art that have been displayed in museums around the world.   Her personal explorations led her into the deeply affecting works of the very well-known “Woman” Series. Much of her work is concerned with the intellectual and physical struggle of her very existence—the struggle of woman versus man, patron versus artist, Indian versus Anglo, tradition versus progression.  Her art is complex and beautiful, at once forward-thinking and rooted in ancient tradition.

Hardin completed 23 copper plate etchings between the years of 1980 and 1984.  Many of these etchings are counted among her best and most collectible works. “Spirit of Spring” and its companion piece “Spirit of Autumn” were the second and third to last etchings in this highly regarded series. Only “Unity of Prayer and Song” was printed after this pair.

“Spirit of Spring” was printed at New Mexico’s El Cerro Graphics in benzine yellow ochre, English red, midnight blue, burnt umber, and sepia.  The printing began on 25 March 1983 and was completed on 28 September 1983. The etchings were issued in an edition of 65. This is #49/65. It is signed and numbered by Hardin.  At lower left is the house chop, at lower right is the printer’s chop, and the printer’s blind stamp is on verso. El Cerro’s printers for this piece were Ricardo C. Ximenes, Catherine Clinger, and Yvette Tapp.

The etching is double matted and framed in a simple wood frame.  A copy of the original print documentation is included with the piece.



Condition: this Aquatint Etching titled "Spirit of Spring" is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the estate of a client from Colorado

Recommended Reading: Changing Woman: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin by Jay Scott

Photo of Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh - Little Standing Spruce. Image Source:  the photo copies (of original polaroid’s) of Helen Hardin appear courtesy of the photographer.

Close up view of this image.

Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh - Little Standing Spruce
  • Category: Prints
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: aquatint etching on Fabriano Rosapina Cream 285
  • Size:
    9-1/2" by 5" image;
    17-1/2” x 12-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3999C
  • Price: $5,000.00

C3999C-print.jpgC3999C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.